Prozac® (fluoxetine) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder, OCD, bulimia nervosa, panic disorder and — in combination with olanzapine — for the treatment of treatment resistant depression and of depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder.
The effect of PROZAC on labor and delivery in humans is unknown. However, because fluoxetine crosses the placenta and because of the possibility that fluoxetine may have adverse effects on the newborn, fluoxetine should be used during labor and delivery only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
Because PROZAC is excreted in human milk, nursing while on PROZAC is not recommended. In one breast-milk sample, the concentration of fluoxetine plus norfluoxetine was 70.4 ng/mL. The concentration in the mother’s plasma was 295.0 ng/mL. No adverse effects on the infant were reported. In another case, an infant nursed by a mother on PROZAC developed crying, sleep disturbance, vomiting, and watery stools. The infant’s plasma drug levels were 340 ng/mL of fluoxetine and 208 ng/mL of norfluoxetine on the second day of feeding.
The efficacy of PROZAC for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder was demonstrated in two 8- to 9-week placebo-controlled clinical trials with 315 pediatric outpatients ages 8 to ≤18 [see Clinical Studies (14.1)].
The efficacy of PROZAC for the treatment of OCD was demonstrated in one 13-week placebo-controlled clinical trial with 103 pediatric outpatients ages 7 to <18 [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].
The safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients <8 years of age in Major Depressive Disorder and <7 years of age in OCD have not been established.
Fluoxetine pharmacokinetics were evaluated in 21 pediatric patients (ages 6 to ≤18) with Major Depressive Disorder or OCD [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
The acute adverse reaction profiles observed in the 3 studies (N=418 randomized; 228 fluoxetine-treated, 190 placebo-treated) were generally similar to that observed in adult studies with fluoxetine. The longer-term adverse reaction profile observed in the 19-week Major Depressive Disorder study (N=219 randomized; 109 fluoxetine-treated, 110 placebo-treated) was also similar to that observed in adult trials with fluoxetine [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].
Manic reaction, including mania and hypomania, was reported in 6 (1 mania, 5 hypomania) out of 228 (2.6%) fluoxetine-treated patients and in 0 out of 190 (0%) placebo-treated patients. Mania/hypomania led to the discontinuation of 4 (1.8%) fluoxetine-treated patients from the acute phases of the 3 studies combined. Consequently, regular monitoring for the occurrence of mania/hypomania is recommended.
As with other SSRIs, decreased weight gain has been observed in association with the use of fluoxetine in children and adolescent patients. After 19 weeks of treatment in a clinical trial, pediatric subjects treated with fluoxetine gained an average of 1.1 cm less in height and 1.1 kg less in weight than subjects treated with placebo. In addition, fluoxetine treatment was associated with a decrease in alkaline phosphatase levels. The safety of fluoxetine treatment for pediatric patients has not been systematically assessed for chronic treatment longer than several months in duration. In particular, there are no studies that directly evaluate the longer-term effects of fluoxetine on the growth, development and maturation of children and adolescent patients. Therefore, height and weight should be monitored periodically in pediatric patients receiving fluoxetine. [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)].
PROZAC is approved for use in pediatric patients with MDD and OCD [see Box Warning and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. Anyone considering the use of PROZAC in a child or adolescent must balance the potential risks with the clinical need.
Significant toxicity, including myotoxicity, long-term neurobehavioral and reproductive toxicity, and impaired bone development, has been observed following exposure of juvenile animals to fluoxetine. Some of these effects occurred at clinically relevant exposures.
In a study in which fluoxetine (3, 10, or 30 mg/kg) was orally administered to young rats from weaning (Postnatal Day 21) through adulthood (Day 90), male and female sexual development was delayed at all doses, and growth (body weight gain, femur length) was decreased during the dosing period in animals receiving the highest dose. At the end of the treatment period, serum levels of creatine kinase (marker of muscle damage) were increased at the intermediate and high doses, and abnormal muscle and reproductive organ histopathology (skeletal muscle degeneration and necrosis, testicular degeneration and necrosis, epididymal vacuolation and hypospermia) was observed at the high dose. When animals were evaluated after a recovery period (up to 11 weeks after cessation of dosing), neurobehavioral abnormalities (decreased reactivity at all doses and learning deficit at the high dose) and reproductive functional impairment (decreased mating at all doses and impaired fertility at the high dose) were seen; in addition, testicular and epididymal microscopic lesions and decreased sperm concentrations were found in the high dose group, indicating that the reproductive organ effects seen at the end of treatment were irreversible. The reversibility of fluoxetine-induced muscle damage was not assessed. Adverse effects similar to those observed in rats treated with fluoxetine during the juvenile period have not been reported after administration of fluoxetine to adult animals. Plasma exposures (AUC) to fluoxetine in juvenile rats receiving the low, intermediate, and high dose in this study were approximately 0.1-0.2, 1-2, and 5-10 times, respectively, the average exposure in pediatric patients receiving the maximum recommended dose (MRD) of 20 mg/day. Rat exposures to the major metabolite, norfluoxetine, were approximately 0.3-0.8, 1-8, and 3-20 times, respectively, pediatric exposure at the MRD.
A specific effect of fluoxetine on bone development has been reported in mice treated with fluoxetine during the juvenile period. When mice were treated with fluoxetine (5 or 20 mg/kg, intraperitoneal) for 4 weeks starting at 4 weeks of age, bone formation was reduced resulting in decreased bone mineral content and density. These doses did not affect overall growth (body weight gain or femoral length). The doses administered to juvenile mice in this study are approximately 0.5 and 2 times the MRD for pediatric patients on a body surface area (mg/m2) basis.
In another mouse study, administration of fluoxetine (10 mg/kg intraperitoneal) during early postnatal development (Postnatal Days 4 to 21) produced abnormal emotional behaviors (decreased exploratory behavior in elevated plus-maze, increase shock avoidance latency) in adulthood (12 weeks of age). The dose used in this study is approximately equal to the pediatric MRD on a mg/m2 basis. Because of the early dosing period in this study, the significance of these findings to the approved pediatric use in humans is uncertain.
Safety and effectiveness of PROZAC and olanzapine in combination in patients less than 18 years of age have not been established.
US fluoxetine clinical trials included 687 patients ≥65 years of age and 93 patients ≥75 years of age. The efficacy in geriatric patients has been established [see Clinical Studies (14.1)]. For pharmacokinetic information in geriatric patients, [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.4)]. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out. SNRIs and SSRIs, including fluoxetine, have been associated with cases of clinically significant hyponatremia in elderly patients, who may be at greater risk for this adverse reaction [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)].
Clinical studies of olanzapine and fluoxetine in combination did not include sufficient numbers of patients ≥65 years of age to determine whether they respond differently from younger patients.
In subjects with cirrhosis of the liver, the clearances of fluoxetine and its active metabolite, norfluoxetine, were decreased, thus increasing the elimination half-lives of these substances. A lower or less frequent dose of fluoxetine should be used in patients with cirrhosis. Caution is advised when using PROZAC in patients with diseases or conditions that could affect its metabolism [see Dosage and Administration (2.7) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.4)].
PROZAC has not been systematically studied, in animals or humans, for its potential for abuse, tolerance, or physical dependence. While the premarketing clinical experience with PROZAC did not reveal any tendency for a withdrawal syndrome or any drug seeking behavior, these observations were not systematic and it is not possible to predict on the basis of this limited experience the extent to which a CNS active drug will be misused, diverted, and/or abused once marketed. Consequently, physicians should carefully evaluate patients for history of drug abuse and follow such patients closely, observing them for signs of misuse or abuse of PROZAC (e.g., development of tolerance, incrementation of dose, drug-seeking behavior).
Worldwide exposure to fluoxetine hydrochloride is estimated to be over 38 million patients (circa 1999). Of the 1578 cases of overdose involving fluoxetine hydrochloride, alone or with other drugs, reported from this population, there were 195 deaths.
Among 633 adult patients who overdosed on fluoxetine hydrochloride alone, 34 resulted in a fatal outcome, 378 completely recovered, and 15 patients experienced sequelae after overdosage, including abnormal accommodation, abnormal gait, confusion, unresponsiveness, nervousness, pulmonary dysfunction, vertigo, tremor, elevated blood pressure, impotence, movement disorder, and hypomania. The remaining 206 patients had an unknown outcome. The most common signs and symptoms associated with non-fatal overdosage were seizures, somnolence, nausea, tachycardia, and vomiting. The largest known ingestion of fluoxetine hydrochloride in adult patients was 8 grams in a patient who took fluoxetine alone and who subsequently recovered. However, in an adult patient who took fluoxetine alone, an ingestion as low as 520 mg has been associated with lethal outcome, but causality has not been established.
Among pediatric patients (ages 3 months to 17 years), there were 156 cases of overdose involving fluoxetine alone or in combination with other drugs. Six patients died, 127 patients completely recovered, 1 patient experienced renal failure, and 22 patients had an unknown outcome. One of the six fatalities was a 9-year-old boy who had a history of OCD, Tourette’s syndrome with tics, attention deficit disorder, and fetal alcohol syndrome. He had been receiving 100 mg of fluoxetine daily for 6 months in addition to clonidine, methylphenidate, and promethazine. Mixed-drug ingestion or other methods of suicide complicated all 6 overdoses in children that resulted in fatalities. The largest ingestion in pediatric patients was 3 grams which was nonlethal.
Other important adverse reactions reported with fluoxetine overdose (single or multiple drugs) include coma, delirium, ECG abnormalities (such as QT interval prolongation and ventricular tachycardia, including torsades de pointes-type arrhythmias), hypotension, mania, neuroleptic malignant syndrome-like reactions, pyrexia, stupor, and syncope.
Studies in animals do not provide precise or necessarily valid information about the treatment of human overdose. However, animal experiments can provide useful insights into possible treatment strategies.
The oral median lethal dose in rats and mice was found to be 452 and 248 mg/kg, respectively. Acute high oral doses produced hyperirritability and convulsions in several animal species.
Among 6 dogs purposely overdosed with oral fluoxetine, 5 experienced grand mal seizures. Seizures stopped immediately upon the bolus intravenous administration of a standard veterinary dose of diazepam. In this short-term study, the lowest plasma concentration at which a seizure occurred was only twice the maximum plasma concentration seen in humans taking 80 mg/day, chronically.
In a separate single-dose study, the ECG of dogs given high doses did not reveal prolongation of the PR, QRS, or QT intervals. Tachycardia and an increase in blood pressure were observed. Consequently, the value of the ECG in predicting cardiac toxicity is unknown. Nonetheless, the ECG should ordinarily be monitored in cases of human overdose [see Overdosage (10.3)].
Treatment should consist of those general measures employed in the management of overdosage with any drug effective in the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder.
Ensure an adequate airway, oxygenation, and ventilation. Monitor cardiac rhythm and vital signs. General supportive and symptomatic measures are also recommended. Induction of emesis is not recommended. Gastric lavage with a large-bore orogastric tube with appropriate airway protection, if needed, may be indicated if performed soon after ingestion, or in symptomatic patients.
Activated charcoal should be administered. Due to the large volume of distribution of this drug, forced diuresis, dialysis, hemoperfusion, and exchange transfusion are unlikely to be of benefit. No specific antidotes for fluoxetine are known.
A specific caution involves patients who are taking or have recently taken fluoxetine and might ingest excessive quantities of a TCA. In such a case, accumulation of the parent tricyclic and/or an active metabolite may increase the possibility of clinically significant sequelae and extend the time needed for close medical observation [see Drug Interactions (7.9)].
Based on experience in animals, which may not be relevant to humans, fluoxetine-induced seizures that fail to remit spontaneously may respond to diazepam.
In managing overdosage, consider the possibility of multiple drug involvement. The physician should consider contacting a poison control center for additional information on the treatment of any overdose. Telephone numbers for certified poison control centers are listed in the Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR).
For specific information about overdosage with olanzapine and fluoxetine in combination, refer to the Overdosage section of the Symbyax package insert.
PROZAC® (fluoxetine capsules, USP) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor for oral administration. It is also marketed for the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (Sarafem®, fluoxetine hydrochloride). It is designated (±)-N-methyl-3-phenyl-3-[(α,α,α-trifluoro-p-tolyl)oxy]propylamine hydrochloride and has the empirical formula of C17H18F3NO•HCl. Its molecular weight is 345.79. The structural formula is:
Fluoxetine hydrochloride is a white to off-white crystalline solid with a solubility of 14 mg/mL in water.
Each Pulvule® contains fluoxetine hydrochloride equivalent to 10 mg (32.3 μmol), 20 mg (64.7 μmol), or 40 mg (129.3 μmol) of fluoxetine. The Pulvules also contain starch, gelatin, silicone, titanium dioxide, iron oxide, and other inactive ingredients. The 10 and 20 mg Pulvules also contain FD&C Blue No. 1, and the 40 mg Pulvule also contains FD&C Blue No. 1 and FD&C Yellow No. 6.
PROZAC Weekly™ capsules, a delayed-release formulation, contain enteric-coated pellets of fluoxetine hydrochloride equivalent to 90 mg (291 μmol) of fluoxetine. The capsules also contain D&C Yellow No. 10, FD&C Blue No. 2, gelatin, hypromellose, hypromellose acetate succinate, sodium lauryl sulfate, sucrose, sugar spheres, talc, titanium dioxide, triethyl citrate, and other inactive ingredients.
Although the exact mechanism of PROZAC is unknown, it is presumed to be linked to its inhibition of CNS neuronal uptake of serotonin.
Studies at clinically relevant doses in man have demonstrated that fluoxetine blocks the uptake of serotonin into human platelets. Studies in animals also suggest that fluoxetine is a much more potent uptake inhibitor of serotonin than of norepinephrine.
Antagonism of muscarinic, histaminergic, and α1-adrenergic receptors has been hypothesized to be associated with various anticholinergic, sedative, and cardiovascular effects of classical tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) drugs. Fluoxetine binds to these and other membrane receptors from brain tissue much less potently in vitro than do the tricyclic drugs.
Systemic Bioavailability — In man, following a single oral 40 mg dose, peak plasma concentrations of fluoxetine from 15 to 55 ng/mL are observed after 6 to 8 hours.
The Pulvule and PROZAC Weekly capsule dosage forms of fluoxetine are bioequivalent. Food does not appear to affect the systemic bioavailability of fluoxetine, although it may delay its absorption by 1 to 2 hours, which is probably not clinically significant. Thus, fluoxetine may be administered with or without food. PROZAC Weekly capsules, a delayed-release formulation, contain enteric-coated pellets that resist dissolution until reaching a segment of the gastrointestinal tract where the pH exceeds 5.5. The enteric coating delays the onset of absorption of fluoxetine 1 to 2 hours relative to the immediate-release formulations.
Protein Binding — Over the concentration range from 200 to 1000 ng/mL, approximately 94.5% of fluoxetine is bound in vitro to human serum proteins, including albumin and α1-glycoprotein. The interaction between fluoxetine and other highly protein-bound drugs has not been fully evaluated, but may be important.
Enantiomers — Fluoxetine is a racemic mixture (50/50) of R-fluoxetine and S-fluoxetine enantiomers. In animal models, both enantiomers are specific and potent serotonin uptake inhibitors with essentially equivalent pharmacologic activity. The S-fluoxetine enantiomer is eliminated more slowly and is the predominant enantiomer present in plasma at steady state.
Metabolism — Fluoxetine is extensively metabolized in the liver to norfluoxetine and a number of other unidentified metabolites. The only identified active metabolite, norfluoxetine, is formed by demethylation of fluoxetine. In animal models, S-norfluoxetine is a potent and selective inhibitor of serotonin uptake and has activity essentially equivalent to R- or S-fluoxetine. R-norfluoxetine is significantly less potent than the parent drug in the inhibition of serotonin uptake. The primary route of elimination appears to be hepatic metabolism to inactive metabolites excreted by the kidney.
Variability in Metabolism — A subset (about 7%) of the population has reduced activity of the drug metabolizing enzyme cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6). Such individuals are referred to as “poor metabolizers” of drugs such as debrisoquin, dextromethorphan, and the TCAs. In a study involving labeled and unlabeled enantiomers administered as a racemate, these individuals metabolized S-fluoxetine at a slower rate and thus achieved higher concentrations of S-fluoxetine. Consequently, concentrations of S-norfluoxetine at steady state were lower. The metabolism of R-fluoxetine in these poor metabolizers appears normal. When compared with normal metabolizers, the total sum at steady state of the plasma concentrations of the 4 active enantiomers was not significantly greater among poor metabolizers. Thus, the net pharmacodynamic activities were essentially the same. Alternative, nonsaturable pathways (non-2D6) also contribute to the metabolism of fluoxetine. This explains how fluoxetine achieves a steady-state concentration rather than increasing without limit.
Because fluoxetine’s metabolism, like that of a number of other compounds including TCAs and other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), involves the CYP2D6 system, concomitant therapy with drugs also metabolized by this enzyme system (such as the TCAs) may lead to drug interactions [see Drug Interactions (7.9)].
Accumulation and Slow Elimination — The relatively slow elimination of fluoxetine (elimination half-life of 1 to 3 days after acute administration and 4 to 6 days after chronic administration) and its active metabolite, norfluoxetine (elimination half-life of 4 to 16 days after acute and chronic administration), leads to significant accumulation of these active species in chronic use and delayed attainment of steady state, even when a fixed dose is used [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12)]. After 30 days of dosing at 40 mg/day, plasma concentrations of fluoxetine in the range of 91 to 302 ng/mL and norfluoxetine in the range of 72 to 258 ng/mL have been observed. Plasma concentrations of fluoxetine were higher than those predicted by single-dose studies, because fluoxetine’s metabolism is not proportional to dose. Norfluoxetine, however, appears to have linear pharmacokinetics. Its mean terminal half-life after a single dose was 8.6 days and after multiple dosing was 9.3 days. Steady-state levels after prolonged dosing are similar to levels seen at 4 to 5 weeks.
The long elimination half-lives of fluoxetine and norfluoxetine assure that, even when dosing is stopped, active drug substance will persist in the body for weeks (primarily depending on individual patient characteristics, previous dosing regimen, and length of previous therapy at discontinuation). This is of potential consequence when drug discontinuation is required or when drugs are prescribed that might interact with fluoxetine and norfluoxetine following the discontinuation of PROZAC.
Weekly Dosing — Administration of PROZAC Weekly once weekly results in increased fluctuation between peak and trough concentrations of fluoxetine and norfluoxetine compared with once-daily dosing [for fluoxetine: 24% (daily) to 164% (weekly) and for norfluoxetine: 17% (daily) to 43% (weekly)]. Plasma concentrations may not necessarily be predictive of clinical response. Peak concentrations from once-weekly doses of PROZAC Weekly capsules of fluoxetine are in the range of the average concentration for 20 mg once-daily dosing. Average trough concentrations are 76% lower for fluoxetine and 47% lower for norfluoxetine than the concentrations maintained by 20 mg once-daily dosing. Average steady-state concentrations of either once-daily or once-weekly dosing are in relative proportion to the total dose administered. Average steady-state fluoxetine concentrations are approximately 50% lower following the once-weekly regimen compared with the once-daily regimen.
Cmax for fluoxetine following the 90 mg dose was approximately 1.7-fold higher than the Cmax value for the established 20 mg once-daily regimen following transition the next day to the once-weekly regimen. In contrast, when the first 90 mg once-weekly dose and the last 20 mg once-daily dose were separated by 1 week, Cmax values were similar. Also, there was a transient increase in the average steady-state concentrations of fluoxetine observed following transition the next day to the once-weekly regimen. From a pharmacokinetic perspective, it may be better to separate the first 90 mg weekly dose and the last 20 mg once-daily dose by 1 week [see Dosage and Administration (2.1)].